We study the sustainable use of resources in the field livestock – plant – environment. An important topic we are investigating is the effect of climatic changes on productivity and quality of fodder plants, as well as effects of management on the production of greenhouse gases. Also questions of nutrient use, management of wet grassland relevant for nature conservation, and animal performance and behavior are dealt with.
We mainly carry out field surveys and experiments, also on farmers’ fields. Main targets of sampling and investigation are soil, soil water, nutrient sources, botanical composition, quantity and quality of plant material as fodder, as well as further abiotic and biotic resources. In pasture systems, we furthermore measure performance and behavior of the animals. Stable isotope methods are being used for better understanding nutrient fluxes as well as the water use of plant communities.
Key research areas are: